You will not find one supplier that will have all of the supplies and equipment that you will want or need. We had numerous suppliers for different ingredients for our numerous products, plus what we needed to run the actual retail store.
Here are ideas of where you may need to look for certain things. When you go to order your supplies, consider the costs of shipping. Some ship for free, some don’t. Our best supplier for wholesale bulk essential oils did not ship free. Whereas retail/warehouse type suppliers would often ship for free if you reached the minimum purchase, such as $100.
I haven’t listed my specific suppliers as you really need to find local ones. I live in the Seattle and Vancouver area and use suppliers in my area.
The main oils: from a grocery store that supplied local restaurants. So not a restaurant supply exactly, but he brought in 16 liter containers of canola and canola/olive oils that the local restaurants would buy. So we bought cheap in bulk.
Essential oils and fragrance oils: This wholesaler sells only to businesses and we needed a tax number to order from them, which we had. It was a $200 minimum to place an order. But their prices were better than we found elsewhere. FPI Essentials.
Specialty oils and butters: from the supplier listed above, or from regular soap making supply stores.
Point of Sale items: it was a retail store/janitorial supply company – believe it or not! We bought all of our paper bags and plastic bags for our customers purchases.
The lye or sodium hydroxide: from the same business above. This came in 50 lb bags that we promptly placed inside a large Rubbermaid tub with the lid on.
Product packaging: Usually from our regular soap making supply company. Some companies carry different sizes and colors, so decide what color and size and stick to it, otherwise you end up with leftover bottles and jars.
Labels: we made our own, with Word and Corel. Corel was complicated, so mostly Word. Soap labels were done on a Word document, landscape, columns, 3 – 4 to a page. We also made sticky Avery labels, there is a template inside Word to tell it you are doing a label, and hopefully your soft ware will match with the label number on the Avery label box.
Pamphlets: We also made these ourselves, with Word – select pamphlet, or columns.
Signs: we painted our store window ourselves, it wasn’t perfect but it was cheap. Later we bought real signs from a sign maker.
Equipment: Got lots of the equipment from a thrift store, like the stock pot, wooden spoons, measuring cups and spoons, towels. Got the scales from a soap supply, you can get smaller kitchen scales from any kitchen type store but we weighed amounts that were too large for those scales. And whatever you do, do not drop the scale, it will be ruined – I did that and it never measured accurate again.
Molds: we had made our own that could hold 50 bars. Some people, myself included, have also used dresser drawers.